National and State Register

Bonfils Memorial Theater (Tattered Cover)

Denver County

The primary mover in the development, funding, and creative direction of the theater was Helen Bonfils.  She commissioned its construction in memory of her parents, Belle and Frederick G. Bonfils.  Designed in 1949 by Denver architect John K. Monroe, the theater opened in 1953 as the new home of the Denver Civic Theater. 

An angular view of the theater from across the street.

Bonfils Memorial Theater (Tattered Cover) 

The theater was founded in 1929 in cooperation with Denver University.  More than any other single individual, Helen Bonfils raised civic theater in Denver to the high standards represented by the Bonfils Memorial Theater.  Her successful efforts to bring first class Broadway plays to the stage of this top quality theater gave the city a class of performing arts typical of larger cities and professional companies.  The continued growth of civic theater and the establishment of the professional Denver Center for the Performing Arts spring directly from the Bonfils Memorial Theater and the dedication of Helen Bonfils.  The building was rehabilitated in 2006 to become the Tattered Cover bookstore.